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BTN LiveBIG: Best of … Purdue

At Purdue University, the sky is hardly the limit. The school, colloquially known as “Astronaut U,” is regarded as one of the top institutions globally for future stars in aerospace engineering, aviation and space exploration. It’s also one of the best universities for computer science, education and entrepreneurship. Below, we’re featuring some of the brightest recent LiveBIG stories to come out of West Lafayette. Boiler up! Purdue Space Day aims to inspire astronauts of tomorrow Boiler up, up and away at the Hangar of the Future   Purdue partners with second graders on space science project Kids get hands-on with

BTN LiveBIG: Purdue Space Day aims to inspire astronauts of tomorrow

Every fall, hundreds of elementary and middle school students flock to West Lafayette, Ind., for a fun-filled day of launching water rockets, experimenting with mini Mars rovers and learning about what lies beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Purdue Space Day (PSD) originated in November 1996. At that event, Boilermaker alumnus astronauts Greg Harbaugh and Don Williams spoke to the approximately 150 students in attendance in an effort to spread their love for space exploration to the next generation. Twenty years later, the goal is the same, but the event has lifted off to another level. Last year more than 250 student volunteers

BTN LiveBIG: Purdue partners with second-graders on space science project

Purdue’s Steven Collicott can’t help but laugh as he considers one of comedian W.C. Fields’ most well-known quotes: “Never work with animals or children.” That’s because he’s found himself doing both, in a manner of speaking. Collicott, a Purdue professor and associate head of engagement at the university’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is teaming up with second-graders from Cumberland Grade School in West Lafayette, Ind., to figure out whether or not a firefly can light up in space. When the question first came up in the class, teacher Maggie Samudio knew where to turn. “I couldn’t answer that question

BTN LiveBIG: Purdue student aims to be the 'Neil Armstrong' of Mars

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We’ll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums are taking to work. Most of us dreamed of fantastic, far-fetched careers when we were kids. Cowboy. Pop star. Professional athlete. Astronaut. That last one captured the imagination of Max Fagin as a boy. But unlike the majority of us, who alter our dream career many times based on changing interests and perceptions of what’s “realistic,” this Purdue aerospace engineering graduate student has spent his life trying to

BTN LiveBIG: Ohio State student is no 'space oddity'

More than 30 years ago, Sally Ride became the first American woman and the youngest-ever astronaut to travel to space. Today, Jillian Yuricich, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering at Ohio State, wants to follow in the footsteps of Ride and 57 other women who’ve made that journey. Though it’s a relatively small, exclusive group, Yuricich is confident that she’ll be joining their ranks soon. And thanks to their pioneering efforts, the trails she’ll be blazing will be mostly above the stratosphere. “I never felt alienated from my interests because of my gender,” she said. “I just follow my dreams.